3 Cases Won In 5 Days: Nigeria’s Social Media Court Seems To Be Getting Stronger

By  |  July 4, 2019

With three cases expeditiously won in less than a week, the “social media court” of Nigeria seems to be transforming from a jester forum to a platform of meaningful and impactful activism.

Nigerians often take to social media to air their views on a wide range of matters, from political issues to social conventions, marital affairs, and religious happenings.

Trust, as far as it is trending and controversial, Nigerians will take to their social media, Twitter especially, to hit the nail where it is supposed to. In the past five days, three cases that faced the axe before this jury have been won.

Rape Allegations For COZA Pastor 

In the past two weeks, the social media space of Nigeria has literally been awash with stories and views concerning the rape allegations from Busola Dakalo, wife of musician Timi Dakolo.

She accused the Senior Pastor of Commonwealth of Zion Assembly (COZA), Biodun Fatoyinbo of raping her some 15 to 17 years ago. The incident, which was narrated in this video, was greeted with a harsh criticisms, smack in the middle of serious e-turmoil. 

Protesters took matters offline and executed a successful match against rape and the accused pastor to COZA headquarters in Abuja, as well as its branch in Lagos.

In what had all the makings of a successful demonstration, Pastor  Fatonyibo, after receiving additional backlashes from the Nigerian social media community to step down, bowed to pressure announcing his indefinite leave of absence from the pulpit. This happened 24 hours after the protest – a win for the media-based court.

Senator’s Assault On Lady

There was a viral video that revealed a rather disturbing event in which the youngest Senator in the ninth assembly, Cliff Elijah Abbo was camera-caught assaulting an unnamed nursing mother.

Hearing this, the social media court resumed its attack sessions, and in what was very much like a jiffy, the news spread so much that this hashtag almost became a household word.

Both the Senator and his involved colleagues faced many scorchers, even the innocent ones that were merely celebrating the appointment and announcement of its principal officers. The Senator who represents the Adamawa North Senatorial District, tried to deny the allegations, but that only made matters a lot worse. 

It was not long after the doubling of probing on social media that he decided to own up for his misdeeds and sidestep the implications that came with an announced police investigation into the issue, that he decided to do what was right.

He tendered an unreserved apology to the lady, reportedly Bibra, Nigerian mothers, and the social media community. Though he apology and followed acts of penance have been well-received by some people, others are insisting he either steps down from his office or be sent to jail. Nonetheless, another win for the social media court. 

Even PMB Had To Succumb

In what is personally seen as the highest achievement for this development so far, the social media court was able to force the right action on its own government.

A long-term solution was previously proposed to put an end to the farmers and herders crises in major parts of the country. The RUGA (Rural Grazing Areas) scheme was reported to have been created to put an end to the seemingly endless killing in the northern part of the West African country.

Energetic protests and recurring hashtags registered Nigerians’ displeasure with the so-called initiative. 

Actually, the Nigerian government, in what was criticized as a display of ethnic domination and insensitivity, tried to create settlements for the Fulani herdsmen in all parts of the country.

But given the speculations that beef is unhealthy to consume – the herdsmen reportedly do not consume it themselves – Nigerians refused to agree to the policy, and twitter was abuzz with really strong words. On a Vanguard morning show, it was revealed that nearly 95 percent of viewers were against RUGA.

Perhaps done a number on by too much criticism, the RUGA scheme has been suspended. President Muhammadu Buhari himself bowed to the social media court, announcing this interruption.

Thanks to social media lawyers, every Nigerian state will no longer, for as long as suspended, have to donate a portion of land strictly for cattle rearing. The final win for the social media court this week. 

Thanks to social media lawyers, every Nigerian state will no longer, for as long as suspended, have to donate a portion of land strictly for cattle rearing. The final win for the social media court this week.

Featured Image: E&T Magazine

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